Posted in 2018

The right words~ simply💫

One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.⠀   Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums⠀

I can identify with Jack. Sometimes in an attempt to find the right words that will allow me to communicate with you, dear readers,  I find myself with nothing to say. Nothing. Sometimes that makes my friends and family nervous. Because it’s  not that I don’t have words. I have tons of words. Words that weave and dance, that caress and cajole but usually they are more complicated than I wish. I occasionally need to look for simple.

So I went to the sea, Cuba. Sunshine. Sand. Sleep.

Simple.

I went to the sea today

Raised finger tips

to sun kissed lips

Tasted the salt

Of a thousand tears

Words that have never been heard

 Just evaporated, disappeared.

~I feel recharged. We are and then we are not. Simple as that. 💫

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2018

I am not a Writer ~ just stones that talk

    If you wish to be a writer,  write.

Epictetus *

I am not a writer~
Oh, I have stones crammed inside my head, collected

stuffed into an abandoned trunk of old forgotten valuables

left to expire in the dusty attic~ but I am not a writer.

I am a holder~

holding the talking stones of childhood memories, sibling quests

love gained and lost, birth pangs and the fool’s gold of age.

I hold the stones, smooth to my caress ~I feel the words speak.

 

vcl poem /photo ~ Lake Athabasca

Posted in 2018

Taste the Mystery

We really are very lucky. You know…US… the gardening people. We have had our annual joy…..and a busy time recently gathering in all the fruits and vegetables of our labors. Abruptly…just as every year feels that way,  cooler weather has descended…I find myself contemplating socks….saints preserve us!

This is the time of year when we can’t go around with a new plant (family member) as in warmer climes, chanting under our breath “Where are we going to put you?” Here in northern Alberta….the land of the blue line on seed packets I call it, we are now asking ourselves “How are we going to protect you?”

My husband states he saw frost on my car in the early morning…which I’ll have to take his word for as early is a dirty word in my vocabulary. 🤩 Hearing that though, I am instantly thrown into a protective stance. Do I grab the peppers and tomatoes (still quite green due to poor sunlight caused largely by the forest fires that hid the sun and the rest of the skyline most of the summer) ? Or do I leave them be, alert for just a little precious Indian Summer?

That’s the dichotomy of gardening friends.  The cycle of birth and death. It gets played out on the gardening stage every year. It’s been a great run, but now we look for ways to cheat the calendar.  It could mean the difference between a bountiful harvest or no harvest at all.

As for me, I went down to my garden today. I picked some tomatoes, cukes and onions. I grabbed a couple of peppers and a lone zucchini too and made a delicious salad for our supper.

I pronounced it good.

I picked more sage to dry, anticipating Thanksgiving in the pungent autumnal odor lingering on my fingers. I contemplated covering the Tom Thumbs. Maybe tomorrow.

Mother Nature winks at us all. I Winked back!😍😉

Photo vcl©️

Posted in 2018

If feeling isn’t in it~ celebrate dog days.

You can take it away, as far as I’m concerned—I’d rather spend the afternoon with a nice dog. I’m not kidding. Dogs have what a lot of poems lack: excitements and responses, a sense of play the ability to impart warmth, elation . . . .  

                                                                               Howard Moss

Tomorrow is National Dog Day. We humans like special days, don’t we?  I guess it’s about the warm fuzzy feelings they evoke in the memories of  happy times. This one occurred when I was eleven.

My Father spent some years as a salesman. He had a sales area which because of its size meant that he was gone for days at a time. Returning home from one of these trips he arrived at the back door carrying a large cardboard box. Setting it on the threshold he hunkered down, unmindful of his good suit and as we children gathered around he proceeded to open the box. What to our wondering eyes did appear but the cutest, most adorable little black, red tongued  puppy we thought we had ever seen.

He was so energetic, trying to kiss everybody’s faces as we passed him around. Then he peed on Mom. I remember Dad setting him on the stoop and as we all entered the house Rex (that was his new name) had to be helped over the threshold as he was too fat to wiggle over it. We all laughed.

Rex , Dad explained was a Black Labrador Retriever. He grew and grew in physical size and love, big sloppy love was his specialty. He mostly stayed outdoors as he was added to the family because Dad was away a lot. Guard dog was his primary role,but occasionally  on cold winter days he was ushered into the back pantry with a special blanket and snacks. Oh the love then lol.

He turned out to be a kind, patient companion alert to rabbits and squirrels along the path to the gardens. He was the first to flush out the porcupine with her babies, much to his chagrin. He never missed an opportunity to chase a stick. He seemed to sense when we were feeling blue and would sit close letting us pat his head, almost like he was offering a prescription for what ailed us.

If he had any flaw we never found it. That is until some years later we moved to a new home near a rural highway . It seemed that he had found the one thing that caused him some excitement in his quiet country life. Added a little spice he may have said in human words. He liked to chase the pea truck.

In the early autumn the peas are harvested in the Annapolis Valley. With it begins the steady procession of overloaded trucks taking the peas (with vines still attached) to the canning factory close by.

Rex just couldn’t seem to help himself. No amount of reproof made him change his ways.  Every time he heard a pea truck rumble down that road he was sprinting along beside it barking, snarling, grabbing the occasional pea vine that fell off in the breeze in his teeth, shaking it back and forth as if he had captured the flag of sorts. The truck would soon disappear out of sight, then Rex’s demeanour would relax and he would saunter back to the step as if nothing had happened. Yawn.

Sadly, that is how Rex met his demise. I wasn’t there when it happened thankfully but that darn old pea truck obscured the view of another driver passing and  didn’t see Rex as he crested the hill. One thump and he lay mortally wounded in a heap on the road. The commotion that followed , children crying, strangers apologizing, and the horror of the suffering friend I could only imagine as the story was relayed to me later. Gathering around,  my siblings recounted those precious minutes where hope died. It was quickly apparent that the vet wasn’t an option. Fortunately  a neighbor pulled up with a hunting rifle just then and Dad put our friend to rest.

it is said that “One bad trait can ruin a whole person”. I guess that can apply to dogs too.

Rex was buried deep in the woods among the old Apple trees the area is famous for. I have never visited. My brother mourned there. Boys and their dogs are another story.

RIP Rex. I’m glad we have a day to celebrate you.❤️

Photo credit: Dirk Vonderstrabe

 

Posted in 2018

There’s a little butterfly in all of us 🦋

Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.     

Nathaniel Hawthorne

I was working in my garden today (actually I was playing)  when I noticed this butterfly alight on a leaf near me. It looked so pretty, sunlight bouncing off its wings that I stooped in for a closer look and a picture to show others. Truthfully it made me feel happy. How could that be? It wasn’t doing anything special.  But it’s very existence was special to me. Butterflies speak of peace and good will. They speak of change, rebirth and happy endings.  I had one of those mindful moments. Questions fluttered through my mind.

What has this little butterfly seen of the world in its journeys? Does it think about how important it is to the flowers as it flutters along , pollinating the natural kingdom? I picture it singing a happy tune, and even though it’s life is short I doubt I’d hear a mumbling word of complaint. What would that song sound like? Does it know it’s creator? Could it lead me there?  Or do butterflies just soar?  Some questions don’t get answered do they? I weave these thoughts, coccooned around my heart as the butterfly flies away.

The day has been long. Night has drawn its shuttered eyes, and I will do likewise. But before I go I leave you with this little Cinquain to ponder❤️ Vcl©️

    Butterfly

    Tissue white, graceful

      Chasing the wind, laughing

        Happy little thing

      Wings

 

Posted in 2018

Sunflowers ~T’is the seasoning

Sunflowers say summer more than any other flower.
As part of the daisy family, they are cultivated for their edible seeds. Every road trip in our family begins with a trip to the store to ensure enough “spits” to fill a few empty coffee cups along the way.

I read that the sunflower’s name comes from its tendency to reposition itself to face the sun. It’s genus, Helianthus, is rooted in two Greek words — “helios” meaning sun and “anthos” meaning flower.

The ancient Greek myth of Apollo and Clytie is one explanation of why  sunflowers turn towards the sun. In this story Clytie, a nymph, adored Apollo. At first, he loved her back, but soon he fell in love with Leucothoe. Because of her jealousy, Clytie told Leucothoe’s father of the relationship and he punished her by burying her alive.

In anger, Apollo turned her into a flower, but even in flower form she still loved him and would spend her days watching him as he moved the sun across the sky in his chariot, just like sunflowers move to face the sun. 🌻

In 2013 my husband and I visited the Rikkmuseum in Amsterdam. We were excited to view amazing art and I particularly liked Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.

I share his enthusiasm evidently…..❤️ I wonder if he would prefer regular seasoning or all dressed?

“The sunflower is mine, in a way.”
Vincent van Gogh

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Posted in 2018

The earth weeps~What listening ears?

The Earth weeps

And the sound of her sobs

Has fallen upon deaf ears

Or met with a look of scorn

How dare she wallow

In loud suffering

Is she not bedrock

solid foundation

to our future generations?

Is she not blessed

We have come and gone

Are not our footprints eternal?

Do we brazenly shout

Into the abyss

Scream at the unknown

Rip out tree and root

Poison our affections

Abuse our children

Or despite our insistence

That we slough off

Old wives tales

Are our ears perked

Listening for the voice

Of absolution ?

Listen deeply

for it may only come

Once..  vcl©️

Posted in 2018

Unsettled ~ As the wind

I make things complicated for myself and chaotic, so I feel unsettled, and then the challenge is to make something structured and complete emerge from that.

❤️Jessica Stockholder

I am packing for a trip. A short jaunt. But packing unsettles me. Do I really need 3 pairs of shoes? What if it rains? Where are my sunglasses?….and the beat goes on, la dee dah. Experience has shown that I overpack. If I’m not careful I will let my joy get stolen. And the ransom may be  more than I want to pay.

So I’ve taken a breather. My packing will be complete. It always does. I  am writing a poem to celebrate my freedom from packing blues, spilling chaotic thoughts, into a summer night wind that’s reflecting summer’s heat. ❤️

As the wind

my mind is wafting

in and out

of conscious thought

whirling in a sea

of mysteries

Stirring up what

they aught not

Breathing in

unsettling whispers

knocking down

old barriers worn

Ancient beliefs

toppled

scattered

scorned

anticipating

wintry storms

mulling

o’r what really matters

life

             Unsettled as the wind.    vcl©️

Posted in 2018

Tradition’s sweet side 🥞

I know that everything essential and great originated from the fact that the human being had a homeland and was rooted in tradition.” Martin Heidegger

This past week I received a call from one of my daughters asking if I would like a jar of her first batch of crabapple jelly. I was so excited to be picked as a taste tester!  It was her first try at canning and her excitement was catchable, as she had not shown an interest in this ancient art, although I had done a lot of it in her growing up years.

Canning brings back so many memories of my childhood. I remember my mother carefully washing jars, lids, and rings. While they air dried, I can remember her washing the cucumbers and making the brine for the dill pickles. Then taking the jars and filling them with either sliced cucumbers or whole small cucumbers.

She’d pour the brine into the jars and lower them into the canner. After they boiled for a time, she’d carefully lift them out, line them in neat little rows, and cover them. We’d all anxiously wait for that loud “pop” that let us know that the jars were sealed properly. Oh the memories!!!

Each newly harvested fruit and veggie had its own place in the canning que. One year I counted 82 quarts of strawberries. They were all gone by New Years 😳

Well, needless to say, the crabapple jelly is delicious, especially on Cobb’s bread transformed into French Toast that was to die for…..❤️ There’s the picture to prove it😍

Next we tackle dills…but canning is so much easier today because after you fill your jars and close them, you just stick them in the dishwasher and after a complete cycle…voila …Done! Except we still wait for the “pop”. It’s just tradition.